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+ - What China is Watching Right Now: Smog

Submitted by TheRealHocusLocus
TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) writes "TV celebrity Chai Jing quit her job when she learned her daughter was born with a lung tumor. The operation was a success, and she decided to investigate further the persistent smog condition affecting mainland China for at least a decade. Under the Dome: Investigating China’s Haze is a docu-lecture somewhat like a TED talk presenting her findings, and some of them are terrifying. At issue is airborne 'PM2.5' pollution of particles less than 2.5 microns, one sample in her own city yielded a level of Benzo(a)pyrene some 14 times greater than China's (elevated) target limit. Not even near a coking plant.

This may become the most viral video to date within modern Chinese society, with some 8.5 million views since 2/27 on Yoku. Minister of environmental protection Chen Jining has praised the work, indicating the government's acquiesce to its message and rising popularity. A project to complete English subtitles for the Youtube version is in progress and may be completed in hours or days.

These aerosol plumes are global. In California up to ~29% of PM2.5 pollution may originate in China."

Comment: Re:Who did the study? (Score 3, Interesting) 340

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49155019) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.

Literally every nuclear plant in construction throughout the entire world is way overbudget, even the ones in China.

You're right... but China aims to change that. China is cool with the delays in AP1000 construction... why? Because Westinghouse is refining the pump design.

China is much more than a happy customer experiencing some delays in delivery and construction. They have a plan in place to build the CAP1400, their own proprietary version of the Westinghouse AP1000.

If you're a flag-waving American who believes that we're still in the race to help develop and industrialize the world, this August 2014 slide show from China's SNPTC (State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation) is worth a look. "China has basically established the 3rd generation nuclear power industrial system, built up the complete equipment supplied chain, completed the standard design of localized AP1000, and prepared for mass construction of the localized AP1000."

And that is merely to ensure its entry into the market as a supplier of AP1000-compatible reactors in the short term. Their CAP1400 project promises to build on the AP1000 concept while scaling up the output by half (to 1530MWe). They are also suggesting an actual four-year construction cycle.

So if Westinghouse (majority owner: Toshiba) wishes to delay construction today in order to improve the design of coolant pumps --- I'm sure China is amenable. They will note the improvements and incorporate them.

While the United States feeds Africa for a day and attempts to impose unworkable energy solutions, Japan and China will build its coal plants today and become its infrastructure partners. Then with the same steadfast determination with which the USA built out railroads, the Chinese will lay high speed rail, energize itself and New Africa with grids and mature PWR nuclear energy tomorrow. And on the third day, Thorium reactors using liquid fuel. Ultimately a quadrillion dollars of infrastructure... financed and built without the US dollar, perhaps.

So if China supplies nuclear reactors to the world --- and ultimately also the United States for a hefty price, when natural gas declines and we shake ourselves awake from this renewables nightmare, what a pity. We could have done it first and we could have done it better.
"Oh dear! We're late!" Down the nuclear rabbit hole we go.

Comment: Re: Who did the study? (Score 1) 340

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49154885) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.

The rest was rubbish. To say we can only accomplish a goal via one single method is obviously wrong. Also, care to explain the DC thing? Are you Edison, back to try electrocuting elephants again?

Since you mention DC I guess this is a reply to this message and this one.

Sometimes one can come to the conclusion that we can only accomplish a goal one way when one is presented with a clear winner and a bunch of sorry-ass alternatives, such as... nuclear versus 'solutions' that require imaginary infrastructure and imaginary storage technology that (nevertheless) will shut down in cold or cloudy weather. Despite anything I may have believed once upon a time, or just not thought about, I am now being drawn kicking and screaming to advocate nuclear energy. Because the alternatives suck because extinction sucks. And about the DC thing.

Eh, everything you wrote in your first post.

Eh. Actually my first post was a short essay inspired by the Clock of the Long Now.

Comment: Re:Who did the study? (Score 1) 340

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49153817) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.

Well I'm sure they can afford you, your nuclear shilling and your sockpuppets to mod you up. C'mon slashdot this is so fucking obvious. As for the other guy you were responding to, that's probably you too.

In fact... I'M SOOO CLEVER I even wrote your comment too! Bwaa-haa-haaa!

you bable A-lot!

Thank you. Feel free to sample our other fine products.

Comment: Re:Who did the study? (Score 2) 340

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49153787) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.

No need for lithium batteries of that size. Just settle down politics (that's fantasy part of the plan, I know) and build power line across continents, crossing that tiny Bering Strait and connecting all solar plants around the world. Then shuffle electricity around the globe as needed. It's quite doable today, with today tech and moderate expenses.

I like the way you think... it's a beautiful dream and I'm right there with you, except for the 'doable' part. See this great Megastructures documentary, Bridging The Bering Strait. So many great things to accomplish. If more than ~19.6% of engineers receiving a Bachelors in engineering were women I think we would be much better off. (Not what you said, just thinking that because my daughter is choosing a major.)

There is such an expanse between things that are good ideas and those that are practical --- that is, practical in the sense that you can imagine them happening in your own lifetime or would bet on them. As opposed to merely being able to imagine them. Unless mankind blows a stinky one and goes tits-up, a global power grid is desirable, inevitable and necessary. But when? And what first?

Presently deployed technology principally uses resonant AC generated mechanically.
A inter-continental or global grid MUST be spanned with high voltage direct current.
The converters that render DC to properly synchronized AC (and back) are not perfected and are expensive.
A series of overlapping HVDC loops within a continent is a good start.
Presently North America utilizes three grids with no appreciable energy connection between.
This is ridiculous. A country should be able to pool electrical energy as necessary coast to coast.
We did it with railroads and then highways.
Sometimes positive change requires reasons beyond corporate interests.
The US was once spanned by crappy roads.
The Interstate Highway System was Eisenhower's way to insure that the US could move troops quickly if invaded.
From awful scenarios and bad times, good things may arise.
Likewise with nuclear energy.

Grid rebuilding does not 'create' new energy.
The politics of spanning the globe with cable are insurmountable.
Because an idiot with a hacksaw just cut off Northern Arizona.
There are a lot of idiots out there with hacksaws and explosives.
Therefore, any single globe-spanning initiative is actually a single point of failure.
In engineering, despite the beauty of this planet-spanning solar dream, it is a bad idea.
I don't like it, you don't like it, but could we bet our future, our childrens' future, that it would never happen?

What is the next step?
Some form of wealth creation.
Energy is wealth, so let's create energy.
Something that requires a few hundred somethings, not tens of thousands or millions of something.
A few hundred somethings that are weatherproof, self-contained concrete fortresses that just output energy.
Something we can build, not just (for example) borrow money to have the Chinese build for us.
We can defend hundreds of things located in our back yard. We must.

DO IT! Let's Get Off Our Buts.

Comment: "Read the rest of this comment..." bug (Score 1) 86

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49153501) Attached to: The Only Constant is Change

"Read the rest of this comment..." link appears sometimes even when there is no rest of comment (or is invisible whitespace?)
Not related to recent changes, has been happening for awhile

On this page
search for 49153131
does not happen when individual message page is shown, only on static discussion page.

what it looks like

Just a peeve.
The Prev and Older buttons are back. Yay!
Thanks and keep up the good work, putting up with us whiny malcontents.

Comment: Re:Who did the study? (Score -1, Flamebait) 340

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49153131) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.

[AC first post that was modded -1 once and +1 twice]
I never would have guessed. The nuclear power industry which funds the entire fraudulent "global warming" faux-science scam, would like to tell you there's still time, if you act now.

My that's a lot of crap in one sentence. You see the word 'Atomic' on a web page and you think you're listening to someone from the nuclear power industry? And you think THEY are deep-pocket funding some 'faux-science' scam? You've got it so backwards.

First, the nuclear power industry, for all its glory and base load contribution, is not wealthy at all. Their construction costs are high due to a combination of deliberate over-engineering and a degree of government oversight unprecedented in history. They have historically competed with coal and held their own. They are presently competing with a rising glut of natural gas power generation on the grid, a glut that will level off and decline in a few years. Carbon-neutral, reliable nuclear plants are being shut by corporate 'cents per kWh' fuck-it let's decommission it vandalism and a type of malfeasance that arises from eco-radiophobes. And when gas does decline, a whole bunch of corporate fucks will wake up and ask, "Gee, where do we put our stupid money now?" Why, coal --- of course.

So no, the nuclear power industry did not 'fund' a global warming scam. In fact, they have been taken in by its urgency along with so many people. They have been SCREWED by it because they honestly thought that a nigh-well limitless source of carbon-neutral energy would be embraced by a world in desperate need to solve the 'problem'. Well I guess it wasn't that much of a problem, or the world is not so desperate to solve it after all. Or perhaps the people who happen to be most convinced of runaway warming scenarios are the same people who (irrationally) fear nuclear energy?

And... where did the click-bait headline "we stopped at two bombs" come from!?

(yes I know you were not the original poster) The last sentence of the linked article.

Considering that there have been over 2000 nuclear tests, it's a miracle that we have stopped at two bombs. And not gone on to do THIS
or THIS.

So, where did all this caterwauling about 2 verses 2000 come from? I really had to think about it for a minute... WHY would anyone question that 'stopped at 2 bomb' figure...? Then it hit me.

Testing of nuclear bombs is being conflated here with their actual use in war. These things do not conflate, people. I'd recommend you go on to consider that doing so is kind of sick. It is as if the original intent of these weapons, to kill millions of people and devastate their lands, is being marginalized in favor of some point of view where nuclear explosions are 'eco-unfriendly'. Not as some regrettable side-effect but as a primary talking point. That is really an ugly type of thinking in my opinion. It anthropomorphizes the Earth at the expense of humanity.

With all due respect, a certain casual misanthropy has been creeping into the culture, and it is most often heard these days from people passionate about climate change. It is an unproductive, poisonous evolutionary dead end. I don't mean to offend anyone but this is a difficult subject to discuss because people don't realize they are doing it.

Atomic energy is being conflated with atomic warfare, as if the mere existence of one implies the other. These things do not conflate, people. It is not just pointless, it is ridiculous. It is as if the existence of medical research labs seals the inevitability of biological warfare and they must be stopped. It is as if the manufacture of kerosene lamps should have been banned long before the electric light came along, because of the Great Chicago fire.

Nuclear energy is just a type of fire we have not finished taming yet. It is not some evil dragon that could never be contained safely. It is a challenge to invention and engineering. We should be excited to pursue it, because science tells us that the payoff is a factor of a MILLION, as in "one million times the energy density of a carbon-hydrogen bond".

Those fifty thousand wind turbines and solar everything farms feeding lithium batteries the size of skyscrapers just will not happen. What's plan B?

Comment: Re:Congress (Score 4, Insightful) 210

From the perspective of the head it's a body transplant.
The body typically has no perspective of its own
so the idea of a head transplant is ludicrously funny.
We laugh to drown out the screaming inside.

Those heads are perfectly functional

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside
Come inside, the show's about to start
Guaranteed to blow your head apart
Rest assured you'll get your money's worth
Greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth
You've got to see the show, it's a dynamo
There behind a glass stands a real blade of grass
Be careful as you pass, move along, move along.
Left behind the bars, rows of Bishops' heads in jars

Comment: 3D Printing and abberant psychology (Score 1) 90

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49146175) Attached to: 3D Printers Making Inroads In Kitchens

What the fuck is it with this endless series of bottom of the barrel, idiotic 3D printing stories?

For all of recorded history, medical luminaries have done vivisection on things to learn by looking at cross sections. It takes a special type of person to do this calmly. Arby's has this hypnotic machine that renders part of an animal into perfect slices, exploding the animal-flesh surface area for maximum release of flavor, but we would not want it to happen to us. MRI machines produce animations that when played along the Z axis, look like your internal organs are morphing into some horrifying Cthulhu, your own kidneys become accusing eyes drilling into your soul. William Gibson imagines nanowire weapons that pass through objects with practically zero resistance, rending a man so completely in half that the upper half slides disgustingly down the bottom half as the doomed victim's face shows mere surprise. Trypophobia (fear of holes in places where holes should not be) is likely an ancient fear-response to help one recognize, imagine the possibility of and therefore avoid severe injury, disfiguring or flesh-eating diseases. So over the course of evolution up to the present level of sentience, the sight of cross-sections of things has made us feel uncomfortable.

That is why the idea of building things up (somehow) from cross sections is oddly fascinating. We are crafting a process by which this instinctual horror is reversed. It is cathartic. Unlike horticulture, where you merely combine seed and shoot and watch as the life process does all the work, grows the result, 3D printing is a purely mechanical building process, one in which the inventor must realize the complete structure of a functional item.

3D printing carries the potential to help us atone for the guilt of pulling so many helpless things apart over the years and cutting them into little bits. It helps us to imagine a karmic balance in the world, where on one hand people are running around with machettes slicing shit up, while in the laboratory (or the kitchen!) forward-thinking peoples are watching over intricate machines that reassemble, repair and "revivify" these things.

I, for one, look forward to eating a beautiful juicy steak
that tastes like glop the printer squeezed out of its cartridges.
Slice it thick, Ma!

Comment: I feel personally threatened by it. (Score 1) 372

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49134205) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

Distributed rooftop solar is a threat not only to fossil fuel power generation, but also to the profits of monopolistic model of utilities. While the overall amount of electrical capacity represented by distributed solar power remains miniscule for now, it's quickly becoming one of leading sources of new energy deployment.

Weary of formula rally cries like "[nice thing associated with friendly eco-concious entrepreneurs that we all want] is a threat to [not so nice Large Corporate Thing that everyone should agree is bad]" I've decided someone has to take a stand. To put a human face on it,

I feel personally threatened by rooftop solar net-metering initiatives.
They are really out to get me.

I buy my electricity from the City, who makes bulk grid purchases.
There is also a competing Co-op which does the same.
Anything that affects their bottom line affects mine also.
They are overpaying for wind (ultimately everyone is) but fortunately it is mostly coal+gas energy.
What would I be willing to pay to re-tool so a few hipsters can play kWh games?
Zero. I do not believe in free Federal Unicorn money either.

I am poor. I rent. I pay the utilities. My landlord is not interested.
I am most people. End of section.

I like or resonant grid. We built it and it works! It was made for few major sources and many sinks.
Power plants and distribution networks are complicated.
Customer premises equipment is simple. Mine, and my neighbors'. I like it that way.
If the grid is happy, I'm happy. Subsynchronous resonance makes the grid unhappy.
Fixing this for good involves overlapping loops of HVDC spanning the continent. That is a good idea.
It will cost trillions of dollars.
But until we accomplish it I do not like subsynchronous resonance.
I feel personally threatened by people who want to jump the gun and do "this little dirty thing" (wind farm) or "that dumb thing" (rooftop solar peak surplus wasted) just because some people want to do something right now and that is what they want to do, even though it is not the 'right' thing to do first.
Fixing the grid is not even the first thing to do. We need a reliable non-fossil 24x7 base load source.
Carbon neutral preferred but in the context of survival, not strictly necessary.
I feel personally threatened by people who gloss over the 'survival' part because they imagine the planet will blow up if it is not done with (specifically) wind and solar.

People feel helpless at the thought of monopolistic utilities.
They are just being silly.
Sometimes so-called monopolism (so-called because it is more complex than that) is an evil conspiracy.
Sometimes, as in grid energy, it is simply the best way to make energy in bulk and distribute it for least cost.
It is why we need more female engineers.
These days, that is my best answer for everything because my daughter will be attending college soon.
Hint hint, sweetie.

Still feeling personally threatened by rooftop solar net-metering initiatives.

Comment: Re:The ocean is not acidifying (Score 1) 421

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49126035) Attached to: What If We Lost the Sky?

Well if a volcano jumped off a cliff would you do that too?

Thank you for making me laugh.

For some reason your comment and all this "change our climate before climate change changes our changes" weirdness makes me think of this brief anticlimactic interlude .

I'm bored, said humanity. Let's fuck with the albedo. Ratchet it up until we trigger Snowball Earth. Then we'll squeak it back a bit and have the perfect setting.

Comment: Re:The associated EMP pulse... (Score 4, Funny) 203

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49125919) Attached to: What Happens When Betelgeuse Explodes?

The associated EMP pulse

* will make all the WiFi Barbies hiccup
* Pebble Smartwatch with AC synchronous motor all start running backwards
* hasten return plague infested gerbils
* make Slashdot say "read rest of comment..." when is no rest of comment to read or is whitespace (oops already happened)
* make AT&T undercharge customers
* will change spelling of some words even in old dictionaries
* will change hidden embedded satanic message into incomprehensible phenomic gobblegook
* will turn chemtrail into contrail
* will contaminate Portland Reservoir with water they will drain and refill at taxpayer expense
* will do nothing out in the desert no surprise there
* will cause brain cloud
* will change Lady Gaga name to Ydal Agag and Huckleberry Finn to Fuckeberry Hinn no one will notice
* will solve discrete logarithm and knapsack problem by making people realize that despite their insolubility everyone is all ok the kids are alright so there really is no problem
* will make apocalypse crazed people reset back to factory defaults and they will walk around with default wallpaper for faces
* will reveal that we have two suns but only to drunk people
* will short out Hillary Russia reset button because it used cheap copper click disc design and was not properly shielded and we do not need woman president we need more female engineers
* will not be televised

Comment: eReaders are functionally bad (Score 1) 260

Having the ability to touch any word on the screen and have definitions, translations, and wikipedia entries pop up as you read (which is great for many of the older books) is a fantastic benefit over and beyond the simple fact that so many of the world's classics are available free of charge wherever you have internet access is a bonus that can't be overlooked. Honestly, in terms of studying books such as Gibbon's Fall of the Roman Empire, I find myself eternally grateful for such capabilities.

I agree wholeheartedly that the eBook experience *could* be much better than physical books, but it isn't.

As an experiment, I recently picked up a reader and tried it (Sony eReader). Here's what I found:

  1. .) The contrast is lousy, it's reading with a piece of slightly frosted glass between you and the text
  2. .) The reflected glare is awful. You can't read wearing a white shirt, for example.
  3. .) Every time the system powers up it has to run through the database making a hash of each file it finds. This can take upwards of an hour, depending on the number and complexity of items, and during which the system cannot be used.
  4. .) It always shows PDFs at "fill the screen" resolution, which means that the margins of the original page are always visible, which means that most of the display area is wasted. I can "zoom" individual pages, but to go to the next page I have to get out of zoom and then reapply the zoom to the next page.
  5. .) Using the "small-medium-large" setting scales the font, but not the formatting. Characters and words become larger, but the "breaks" at the original margins are still there, meaning that the lines break at odd places and waste much of the display area.
  6. .) Finding a specific place in a book is time consuming and inefficient. The first 30 physical pages of a book are usually things I want to skip (contents, publisher, title page, foreward, &c) and going forward to find the transition from meta to actual content is tedious. You can't just say "go to the start of text". In a real book you flib forward/back at high speed until the character of the pages change.
  7. .) Finding a referenced diagram, equation, or image is nigh impossible. Flipping forward (or back) 3 pages to see a chart of graph is easy in a physical book - you just put your finger in that place and you can go back-and-forth whenever you need.
  8. .) Reading scientific papers where the charts/diagrams are at the end of the document is highly inconvenient.
  9. .) Finding a specific place *mentioned* in a book is nigh impossible. If the contents say "Chapter 5 is on page 120", then you have to go to *physical* page 120 and then flip forward or back until you find what you're looking for. If the contents say "figure 120" and you're looking at "figure 4", it's too time consuming to find it. (I'm currently reading a book in PDF format that does this.)
  10. All in all, I haven't used my eReader much.

    It might be OK for narrative stories, light paperback reading that you can do in a dentist's office, and if it's a modern eBook written with proper formatting, but for anything remotely sophisticated it's insufficient.

Comment: Dazzlers (Score 4, Interesting) 318

Blinding weapons are banned? Not so.

From that article:

[...] a soldier he interviewed after an incident in Iraq a few years ago. While on duty, the soldier fumbled a dazzler he was trying to point at an oncoming vehicle a safe distance away. “He was in an awkward position and illuminated a rearview mirror in such a way that he got a beam directly back into the eye.” The beam had gone less than 6 metres when it hit the soldier in the centre of vision of his right eye, burning the retina and leaving his vision in that eye permanently damaged.

Yeah, right. Blinding lasers are banned from military use, except that the military uses them and (from the article) are being made available to police departments.

I'm missing something here - is it OK if it blinds soldiers so long as the *intent* is not to blind soldiers? Is the ban only for *combat* soldiers and not policing soldiers? Is it only banned in *declared wars*, and not *non-war military invasions*?

Can anyone explain why we use dazzlers when they appear to be on the banned list?

No line available at 300 baud.